Culture Wars? Affective Polarisation and Emerging Political Cleavages in Crises-Ridden Greece
Georgios Karyotis (University of Glasgow)
Discussant: Manos Matsaganis (Polytechnic University of Milan)
Research series on Modern Greek Studies organised by the British School at Athens and the Greek Politics Specialist Group
Organisers: Eirini Karamouzi (University of Sheffield) and Lamprini Rori (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
Abstract: Recent polarising events and protest movements in Greece’s modern history, such as the 2015 referendum, the Prespes agreement with the Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, or the measures introduced by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, indicate that novel political conﬂicts have emerged among the Greek public, paralleling developments elsewhere. Often, these conﬂicts are claimed to represent groups of citizens with antagonistic worldviews, pointing towards a broader cultural conﬂict fuelled by appeals to emotions and group identification. The impact of these on political behaviour and the extent to which the politicisation of cultural social identities is re-aligning the ideological and political landscape has received scant attention in Greece due to a paucity of available public opinion data. This paper analyses original and historical survey evidence to situate developments in Greek public opinion since the early 1990s, focussing on how cultural issue cleavages have realigned around new partisan identities, in the context of the economic, refugee and pandemic crises – and its implications for political behaviour.